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Holiday Healthy Foods

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Celebrate the Season with this Tasty Treat, Infused with Cancer-Fighting Ingredients

‘Tis the season to be merry, but with the economic crunch and a long list of gifts needed for neighbors, friends, and teachers, consumers’ budgets are stretched. Texas Oncology has developed a free holiday recipe for Jingle Jam, an easy-to-make, Southern-style preserve that combines healthful cranberries, citrus, and jalapenos. This recipe, full of cancer-fighting ingredients, is sure to please everyone on gift lists and around holiday tables – while leaving you some change to jingle in your pockets.

“It’s no secret that recipes with fruits, veggies, and whole grains provide the foundation for a diet that is nutrient-packed and will promote health,” said Jerry Barker, Jr., M.D., a Texas Oncology radiation oncologist. “Jingle Jam brings together some of Texas’ favorite holiday staples for a tasty treat that is full of color, flavor, and nutrients.”

In Texas alone, more than 90,000 people – the fourth-highest incidence in the nation – are diagnosed each year with cancer, some of which could have been prevented with proper diet. Jingle Jam’s combination of wholesome cranberries, citrus, and jalapenos serves as a reminder of the variety of cancer-protective ingredients that can easily be incorporated into the everyday diet.

Cranberries, for example, are a powerful source of flavonoids, a family of phytonutrients with antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit contain vitamin C, folate, and fiber – all essential to a cancer-protective diet. Jalapenos are loaded with vitamins A and C, and contain a phytochemical called capsaicin, which has been shown to benefit individuals with prostate cancer. Pectin is a natural product of most fruits and may block cancer growth. Pectin is used as a gelling agent and is also available commercially, but the
Jingle Jam holiday recipe utilizes the natural pectin in cranberries for a pleasing consistency.

Texans come together for the holidays to enjoy friends, family, and good food. It’s easy to make the holiday table merry and bright with Jingle Jam, while feeling good about it. Versatile and delicious, Jingle Jam – which uses less sugar than a typical jam – has a variety of tasty uses. It makes a delectable addition to the holiday bird, but also as a glaze for steamed carrots or roasted pork loin. Spread it
on whole grain toast or English muffins for breakfast, or as an appetizer dolloped atop goat cheese tartlets, or poured over cream cheese and served with crackers. Dress up a turkey sandwich, or use it as a dipping sauce for quesadillas.

To view a demonstration on how to make Jingle Jam, click here; or to download a festive, printable Jingle Jam recipe card, click here .

Here are a few additional quick tips to give holiday recipes and food choices a flavor-forward nutritional makeover:

* Use healthy oils, such as olive, canola, or other vegetable oils instead of butter or lard.
* Add chopped nuts, such as pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts for added fiber, crunch, flavor, “good” fats, and a host of phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
* Make salads colorful, using dark, leafy greens and a variety of seasonal fruits and veggies.
* Serve whole grain bread with meals.
* Incorporate seasonal fruits into desserts.
* Choose dark chocolate with at least 60 percent cocoa, which contains antioxidant polyphenols.
* Texas Oncology is looking out for Texans’ health, providing them with the top technologies and treatment options available.

About Texas Oncology
Texas Oncology delivers high-quality cancer care with leading-edge technology and advanced treatment and therapy options available to help patients achieve “More breakthroughs. More victories.” in their fights against cancer, right in their own communities. Texas Oncology, a pioneer in community-based cancer care, is an independent oncology practice with sites of service throughout Texas and southeastern New Mexico.

Texas Oncology patients have the opportunity to take part in some of the most promising clinical trials in the nation for a broad range of cancers. In fact, Texas Oncology has played an integral role in gaining Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for 24 of the latest 30 cancer therapies.

Texas Oncology is affiliated with US Oncology, the nation’s foremost cancer treatment and research network accelerating the availability and use of evidence-based medicine and shared best practices. With more than 1,250 physicians at 480 locations in 39 states, the US Oncology network provides Texas Oncology with access to the latest advancements in therapies, clinical research, and technology, as well as best-in-class clinical and operational processes that help to advance the quality, safety, and cost effectiveness of cancer care.